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Author Archives: David B. Karp

Myths about Guardian ad Litems debunked

  There seems to be a fair amount of misconception about the role of the guardian ad litem  in Wisconsin when it comes to custody and placement disputes. I thought it might be interesting to look at some of those misconceptions. The guardian ad litem can be called as a witness at trial. This is […]

What to expect at the first consultation with a divorce lawyer

You are thinking about getting a divorce and have finally muscled up the nerve to call a divorce attorney to come in for an initial consultation. What can you expect at that first meeting and what should you plan to bring with you? I can only answer this question from my perspective. Since I have […]

Reconciliation; how and when.

      While it doesn’t happen all that frequently, it does happen where  a couple in the middle of a divorce, decide to work things out and stay married. What is the best way to resolve the divorce case where the parties want to stay married? There are basically two ways to do it; […]

What to expect at the pre-trial on a divorce.

Some counties automatically schedule a pre-trial conference with the judge as soon as the 120 day statutory waiting period expires in Wisconsin, and in other counties, it is incumbent upon the attorneys to arrange for the pre-trial conference. What is a pre-trial conference and what purpose does it serve? In the absence of reaching a […]

Annual exchange of financial information

I talk to more people who don’t seem to have any idea of the Wisconsin law that requires both parties to exchange financial information. s. 767.54 requires the annual exchange; REQUIRED EXCHANGE OF FINANCIAL INFORMATION.  “In an action in which the court has ordered a party to pay child or family support under this chapter, […]

How to prove a parent is “unfit.”

Almost every other phone call or on line inquiry we receive, concerns a post judgment custody issue where someone wants to prove or allege the other parent is “unfit.” The idea is they want to obtain primary placement of the children, and in many cases, also involves pre-judgment matters. How do you go about proving […]

Access to Medical Information involving minor children

If the other parent is granted sole custody, are you still allowed to access and receive your children’s medical information? Sec. 767.41 (7m) of the Wisconsin Statutes answers that question; “(7m) MEDICAL AND MEDICAL HISTORY INFORMATION. (a) In making an order of legal custody, the court shall order a parent who is not granted legal […]

When do “variable costs” apply?

What are “variable costs?”  Wisconsin DCF 150 (29) definse “variable costs” as the reasonable costs above basic support costs incurred by or on behalf of a child, including but not limited to the cost of child care, tuition, a child’s special needs, and other activites that involve substantial cost.   2. When do “variable costs” […]

How Sick is “too sick?”

I am frequently asked whether a parent  must allow visitation or alternate periods of placement if their child is sick. While there is no clear legal anwer to that question or problem, I would think that common sense prevails. If the child is running a fever or vomiting, or is already under a doctor’s instruction […]

Can you be compelled to do joint income taxes in a divorce?

This is a frequently asked quesiton. It is my opinion that a person cannot be forced as to file their federal income return jointly. A person has the right during the divorce to either file jointly, or file separate but married. The courts do not have legal authority either, in my opinion, to order a […]


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